As you all know, there's been a fair amount of hype about the Hogs football team this spring. Bringing back your all-everything QB + a ridiculously stocked array of skill players + an acknowledged offensive mastermind for a head coach will do that (even if certain other aspects of the team are, shall we say, unproven).
But, as you also know, the immutable law of hype is that what comes up must come down, and after a team has been pumped up enough the required next step is to begin saying they're overrated. So, a new meme has emerged that says the 2010 Hogs are like last year's preseason darling...another team that brought back a star QB and lots of offensive talent but ultimately turned in a fairly underwhelming season.
Yes, the word on the street is that this year's Razorbacks are the equivalent of last year's Ole Miss Rebels. But is it true?
* The good people over at Scout.com recently asked which past SEC team is reminiscent of the 2010 Hogs and came up with two votes for 2009 Ole Miss, one vote for 2008 Georgia and one vote for 2003 Ole Miss. One your blood pressure settles down, definitely read the article...lots of good stuff there.
* Dr Saturday, which is perhaps my favorite college football blog, did a typically thorough and thoughtful analysis of this year's Razorbacks and concluded:
"There's a good chance the Hogs could be headed for a similar run-in-place kind of season [to 2009 Ole Miss]. Even if we take for granted that Ryan Mallett won't (pardon the pun) lose a step in 2010, there's a certain level of defensive prowess a team has to display to be considered an elite, or even semi-elite, contender in the SEC -- and it may be a little much to expect the Razorbacks to rise to that level just one year removed from a league-worst defensive performance. With an unproven D and regression to the mean in turnover margin potentially balancing out the potent offense and easier schedule, the Hogs might pick up an additional game in the wins column relative to '09, but they're hardly guaranteed to muscle anyone aside in the conference standings. Something tells me the expectations have been ratcheted up too high in Hog country for Arkansas fans to be terribly satisfied with that kind of outcome."
* And lastly, College Sports Matchups asks the same question (sensing a trend?) and decides that Bobby Petrino will keep the Razorbacks from disappointing.
As for me, my personal feeling is that the expectations around the state are probably a couple of wins too high (as always), but the facts that Mallett is by far a better QB than Jevan Snead, Petrino is a better coach than Nutt (at least when he has talent to work with...we know that no one does the underdog thing like Houston Dale), and the schedule is at least somewhat in our favor all bode well. Unfortunately, we still have to play too many tough teams and have too many open issues (#1 defense, #2 special teams, #3 winning on the road) for me to be booking my ticket to Atlanta for the SEC Championship just yet.
What do you guys think? Cast your vote in the poll below, then share your own analysis in the comments section.